Ringbelles Roundup (26 February 2013) – wrestling’s equivalent of Ronda Rousey, Girls Night Out 8 and more
Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche delivered in spades on Saturday as part of the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC 157 pay-per-view. While PPV buyrates are only an estimate – though expected to be around the 400,000 mark – the other numbers are amazing.
With those two headlining the show, the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA drew 15,525 fans with a gate of $1.4 million and reportedly fewer comps than usual. It’s the highest attendance for a UFC show in the building, which includes UFC 121 with Cain Velasquez against Brock Lesnar. Admittedly, both Rousey and Carmouche hail from the state, which means that both had a relative hometown crowd, but it’s evidence that women can headline male-dominated shows, given the right booking, promotion and hype. Additionally, the fact that it outdrew Velasquez v Lesnar is even more astounding considering it’s a Hispanic market which would be behind Cain, and Brock is one of the UFC’s biggest draws in its history. (more…)
Earlier this month, there was a clash of shows, with no more than 70 minutes drive between the two. In Voorhees, NJ, you had a double-header featuring Women Superstars Uncensored in the afternoon followed by a Combat Zone Wrestling card. Meanwhile, 65 miles away in Metuchen, NJ, there was a Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling event followed by a show from its parent company Pro Wrestling Syndicate. Critically, the WSU show was better than the (frankly poor) BLOW event, though the latter boasted the larger audience number. For all that anybody knows, it could have been more, but there were hundreds of fans down the I-95 watching another couple of promotions running at approximately the same time. It meant that fans had to choose which show they wanted to see, and was a clash which felt unfortunate. It was very unlikely to happen again.
Or was it…? (more…)
So Kaitlyn is finally the WWE Divas Champion. A week shy of five months after (accidentally) winning a battle royal to challenge for the title at Night Of Champions – a shot which never happened after she was written out so Eve Torres could vie for the belt like was originally planned – the NXT Season 3 winner reached the top of the pile, defeating Torres on the 20th anniversary episode of Raw. We’ll get to the new champ in a moment – but firstly, let’s discuss the noise which preceded the match…
Yesterday, PWInsider reported that last night would be Eve’s final match with WWE before leaving the company, and it would be likely that she would be dropping the belt to Kaitlyn, who she has been feuding with since mid-September. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened, though her title loss came a bit earlier than others were expecting. According to the most recent Wrestling Observer Radio, Torres handed in her notice a month ago with the agreement that she would stay on to build up the title feud with Kaitlyn and then drop the belt to her, with the internal expectation being that she would lose the title at the Royal Rumble in two weeks, after a series of matches between the two when Eve would use underhanded tactics to retain the title. Instead, the decision was made for the switch to take place on the milestone Raw – which makes more sense, as it means more viewers would see the change and Kaitlyn’s moment of glory would take place in her home town of Houston, TX. It was a smart move, as the partisan crowd was hotter for the match than it would have likely been compared to the audience at the Rumble in Phoenix, AZ. Besides, fans have been conditioned to a certain extent to not be that bothered about the Divas, so it was unlikely that the match would have generated a massive amount of pay-per-view buys. (more…)
Former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion Michelle McCool must have talked to her official fansite MichelleMcCool.net for about a kabillion years for it to produce as many different releases about things she has said about her time in WWE. There are masses of quotes about Beth Phoenix, Maria Kanellis, Layla, Sharmell Huffman, Vickie Guerrero, Tara, Natalya, Torrie Wilson, Mickie James and more. Seriously, the interview must have gone on for about three hours to sufficiently cover all these topics. Quite why she has decided to do this now after spending more than 18 months out of the wrestling spotlight is a discussion in itself, as it is doubtful that she is doing to come back, and she has positive things to say about everyone, which doesn’t lead to that many juicy tidbits. However, it is her comments about her experiences with Melina which we found the most interesting.
The 32-year old discussed how they collectively got in trouble following their contest at Night Of Champions 2009, where McCool successfully defended the Women’s Championship, with one particular move on the outside of the ring causing the problem:
It was that day – I was like: “could you not tell anybody, but do you think we could do a DDT on the barricade?” And [Melina] was like: “Ohhhh! Yeah!!!” — Not even thinking twice about it. We kind of hid it all day, even though we did ask our agent for approval, I think it was Fit — which is no secret that he was always fighting for the girls. We just made sure that we can stand up and get our balance, but we never actually did the bump. She was the one who was going to take the huge bump, and there was no doubt, no hesitation, that she would make it look ridiculous — and it did! [During the match] She finally takes the bump, it looks sick [pictured above], pops off — up to that point, that was the best match I’ve ever had. We had the pay-per-view, we had time, I was really proud of that match. (more…)
Emi Sakura has had a hell of a year, and it’s been well documented here at Ringbelles. Her success since leaving Ice Ribbon has included setting up her own promotion in Thailand, having it migrate to Japan, winning the JWP/Daily Sports Tag Team Championship, securing the services of Kaori Yoneyama then having her take her side in some sort of Stockholm Syndrome scenario, forming a team to invade JWP and then taking hold of the promotion’s crown jewel by winning the Openweight Championship. In addition, she defended the belt in the UK for the first time in its history and won the Pro Wrestling: EVE Championship on the same night. Indeed, it has been one hell of a year for the 36 year old. However, it seems as if 2012 is going to end on a mildly disappointing note.
Yesterday, 17-year veteran dropped the Openweight Title in the main event of Climax 2012 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall after 57 days – the second shortest reign in the title’s 20 year history (for the record, the shortest was Devil Masami’s 32 day run which ended when the title was vacated for unknown reasons). She was beaten by current Tag Team Champion Arisa Nakajima, who has also enjoyed a tremendous 2012. (more…)
Have you listened to the latest edition of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast yet? Featuring the heads of SHIMMER, NCW Femmes Fatales and Women Superstars Uncensored, Dave Prazak, Stephane Bruyere and Drew Cordiero spoke frankly on a number of topics such as their respective fortunes in 2012, the pros and cons of booking former WWE Divas or TNA Knockouts on a show and what they think of iPPV. Amongst all the great chat, each took the time to reveal nuggets of what we should expect in 2013 from their respective promotions.
For SHIMMER, Prazak revealed that at at the volume 53 show on April 6 in Secaucus, NJ as part of the WrestleCon event will see the return of two big stars and the debut of one of women’s wrestling’s hottest prospects. Former SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles – who has been out of action since October 2011 with a devastating knee injury – will make her long-awaited return to the promotion where she reigned supreme between April 2010 and last October, where she dropped the belt to Cheerleader Melissa on volume 42. Her injury occurred mere days later as she was in training ahead of her match against Kana for CHIKARA , with a mere double stomp causing all the problems. At the time, she was told that she could either rest and see if the injury healed of its own accord, or have surgery which would end her career. (more…)
Ringbelles Roundup (11 December 2012) – Divas future, intergender wrestling part 2, Portia’s tweets, Fierce Females DVD review & more
WWE knows the Divas division is in tatters at the moment, and seems intent on asking us what we want to happen to it, so the promotion has been contacting focus groups asking about the future of the women. PWInsider reports they were sent out to ask fans what they think of the Divas in the past, what they are like now, and which women they liked. Another question which was reportedly on the list is what role they wanted to see them in – be it as valets/managers, dancers, wrestlers, love interests and more.
This could be the opportunity that fans of women’s wrestling have been waiting for. If the data comes back in the way which we would hope for, it could see a resurgence of in-ring action for the Divas in 2013, along with some proper storylines with episodic character development, culminating in big matches at pay-per-views. It could see them take more prominent roles on the TV shows, and have their segments played out in front of interested, active crowds who care about what is going on. It could also see an injection of new talent into the ranks, possible gimmick revamps to make them more interesting, and having more options of big matches all as part of the quest to snare the Divas Championship.
Oh yes, it could be the start of something beautiful.
But what if it isn’t? (more…)
Since winning the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship tournament back in August, New Zealand’s Evie has dealt with a number of issues. Firstly, she defeated old rival Britenay on September 29, but the celebration was short-lived when her BFF Megan-Kate hit her with a bat, jealous at how her friend and tag team partner’s career had skyrocketed - while her’s, though still very admirable, wasn’t at the same level.
A match between the two on October 27 saw the action lead to a no-contest, and last night, a tag team match took place in Auckland with Britenay and Megan-Kate uniting over a common enemy (with Britenay admitting that she didn’t trust her makeshift partner) to take on Evie, who enlisted rookie Olivia Shaw as her teammate. So did Evie get one over on her two enemies, or did she and Shaw fall to the nasty nature of their opponents? Click the jump and find out. (more…)
SHIMMER: Women Athletes was lacking some of its big names for the most recent tapings, including the injured Madison Eagles and Serena Deeb, as well as Jessie McKay and Sara Del Rey – the latter of whom has since signed with WWE. While the top storyline with SHIMMER Champion Sweet Saraya and Cheerleader Melissa was still on, the Tag Team Championship had changed hands from Del Rey and Courtney Rush to Portia Perez and Nicole Matthews inbetween the March tapings and now, leaving Rush knocked from having one of the most popular storylines in the promotion cut off before it even got started. However, the booking for last weekend’s shows proved that creating writing and a strong willed lineup can easily fill the gaps. (more…)
“SOOO who’s ready for EVEN MORE changes to Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling ? Well heck it wouldn’t be a 24 hour day without some now would it!
“Stay tuned as we’re sure to serve up even more random stuff from the wacky world of Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling in the morning. Perhaps we should start doing contests like Guess The Next Girl To Drop Off ? Gotta love it.
“PS – not one single change to the loaded PWS lineup on Friday.”
That was one of the posts which Pro Wrestling Syndicate posted on its official Facebook page last week ahead of the debut Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling show on Thursday. As it happened, the show managed to fulfil its promise of presenting 8 opening round matches for its Sweet Sixteen tournament, though the lineup was a million miles away from the card which it originally posted. Reports from the show say it was a lot of fun, so it appears the fans went home from the Rahway Recreation Center in New Jersey happy, and by the sounds of the post above, the promoters of PWS breathed a sigh of relief. (more…)
“I am so sorry I have not been in touch in a while. I have been in and out of hospital and have not been able to get access to the internet in over a week. I am very upset I have to write this email because I have to cancel all future dates until December. I am not sure if you had heard about the knock to the head I got in Germany a few weeks ago or not, but I got a bad cut above the eye and it was stitched up and all seemed fine. But after a few days I was getting extremely painful headaches, loud buzzing in my left ear and my vision in my left eye is completely blurred. The doctor has told me it may be damage to the 8th cranial nerve and I am waiting for a CT brain scan and have been advised to stop wrestling for the next few months. It could be permanent or it could go away by itself, but until all signs have been alleviated I will not be able to engage in any heavy physical activity.”
That’s the message Rebecca Knox posted on her own website back in October 2006, following her serious injury in a match against Kisu in Dortmund on September 22 of that year. The match finished as normal, and took on Sweet Saraya the following night in Great Yarmouth, England in a match which saw her drop the Queens Of Chaos Championship. After that, she took some time out to get medically checked out, which gave her the bad news about her 8th cranial nerve injury. It also meant that the proposed Iron Woman Match between she and Daizee Haze at SHIMMER Volume 7 had to be scrapped, after the pair had engaged in a heated feud in the promotion’s early days.
As she points out in her post, she was expecting to be out until December 2006. It’s now October 2012, and only now is the 25-year old from Dublin, Ireland seriously thinking of a return. (more…)
It has been more than a year since the last Pro Women’s Wrestling Alliance show where Madison Eagles successfully defended the SHIMMER Championship against Jessie McKay and Nicole Matthews in the first SHIMMER title match to take place outside of North America.
Since then, Eagles has experienced a long period on the shelf due to a serious knee injury but retains the PWWA Championship by her side – meanwhile, a PWWA Interim Champion has been crowned in Evie, who won the title during the most successful week in her career in August. She makes her first title defence today against Kellie Skater, who has been beaten twice by the champion, but told us on our most recent Women Of Wrestling Podcast that she’s looking to prove she can beat the kick-happy New Zealander.
Elsewhere, Evie’s (former) BFF Megan-Kate takes on Shazza McKenzie, Jessie McKay faces Britenay, and England’s Amazon Ayesha Ray makes her Australian debut.
New Zealand’s Evie defends her PWWA Interim Championship on Saturday, having won the belt in a tournament which ran over the summer (or winter, if you’re from the southern hemisphere), just one week after winning the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship in a 3-way involving Britenay and Megan Kate, though her BFF was inserted into the match at the last minute. It was a questionable decision which made many wonder how Megan Kate managed to sly her way into the title match after losing her semi-final to Britenay on two occasions.
However, Megan Kate stood by the side of her BFF in her match last weekend as Evie defended the IPW strap against Britenay in her first defence of that belt too, as part of IPW Fallout in Auckland. You can watch the match after the jump, and keep watching after the decision for more developments. (more…)
“I don’t think there’s a better female wrestler in the world right now.”
Not my words – though I agree with them – but the words of WWE Champion CM Punk, who confirmed that Sara Del Rey has been employed as a trainer for the company and will be working in its developmental facilities in Florida.
We have stayed deathly quiet over Del Rey’s signing with WWE since we found out, as they notoriously hate their private business affairs being discussed openly, and would not want to jeopardise the position of anyone signing a contract with them. For that reason, we wait until the ink is dry and they appear in WWE facilities. That happened on September 28 when Bill DeMott sent out a Tout video of Joey Mercury, Norman Smiley and Del Rey in NXT trainers’ shirts offering a small pitch for wrestlers to come and try out. A photo of the trainers soon followed, and then came the confirmation from Punk at the Ohio Comic Con on September 29.
“We recently hired Sara Del Rey to train our future Divas. I know a lot of people will be like, ‘Oh, that sucks, Sara should be on television’ and maybe you’re right, but I’ve talked to her about it. This is her dream job. She gets to wrestle everyday and she gets paid for it.” (more…)
Episode 46 with Kellie Skater
We’ve been meaning to get Kellie Skater back on the Podcast for some time, and with PWWA‘s next show coming up very soon and her being announced as returning to SHIMMER in October, what better time? This will be her eighth trip over for SHIMMER, and we talk favourite memories of her stateside adventures so far, and future plans in SHIMMER. We discuss her three month Japanese trip from earlier in the year in great detail, including Christmas in Japan, training, friendships, drinking, networking, drinking, getting kicked in the face and more drinking – and we get a crash course in conversational Japanese (and swear words). We also talk Australia, and recent goings on Down Under, including the recent interim PWWA Title tournament – and Skater calls out her preferred opponent for PWWA on October 6th. Plus more!
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
Last night’s scary incident involving Jerry “The King” Lawler’s heart attack during the live broadcast of Monday Night Raw in Montreal, Quebec, Canada saw an outpouring of support across the Internet, with various woman involved in wrestling taking to Twitter to wish the WWE Hall Of Famer all the best. AJ Lee, Vickie Guerrero, Velvet Sky (who worked on shows with Lawler in Aruba at the weekend) and former wife Stacy Carter all expressed their sentiments.
Lawler’s current girlfriend Lauryn McBride took to her Facebook to let everyone know the situation:
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It has been confirmed that Jerry did have a heart attack…he is in stable condition and breathing on his own & heart is stable. I’m getting on the first flight out of here to be with him & will keep everyone posted. He is a strong man and we will get him back at his best as soon as I can get him home! I love you so so much baby!!
There has been a lot of focus on the continent of Australasia recently, and most of it centres around one kick-happy wrestler from New Zealand.
As we have documented, Evie has been catapulted into everyone’s line of sight, winning both the IPW Women’s and PWWA Championships in the space of seven days – the first in a triple threat match with Megan-Kate and Britenay, and the latter against Jessie McKay just last Saturday.
When approached for comment, the Auckland resident told Ringbelles:
Winning the IPW Women’s Title and then the PWWA Interim Title… words can’t pinpoint the feelings I felt over those nights. I was extremely emotional… a few tears were shed, and it definitely is the highlight of my career to date. I came away from both matches battered and bruised, but it was all worth it in the end… after five years, I finally feel like a champion.
The fans have also been rad… I can’t believe how much support I received through those tournaments, both online and in person. It was amazing!
It has been seven amazing days for New Zealand’s Evie.
After becoming the first ever Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Champion last Saturday by beating Britenay and Megan-Kate in a triple threat match, she has added another title to her cabinet by capturing the PWWA Interim Championship at today’s Call To Arms event in Casula, Australia, defeating Jessie McKay in the tournament final. The Auckland native made it to today’s main event by defeating her BFF Megan-Kate in the quarter-finals, then seeing off Kellie Skater in a rematch from last September’s PWWA event.
According to the running commentary being tweeted by our friends at NHB Girls, the match started with a technical display, but broke down into a fight when both women agreed to let everything fly – and fly they did, with Evie managing to score a big hit on McKay with a top rope dive to the outside. Back in the ring, the frenetic pace continued with Jessie looking for a submission victory but was frustrated when her opponent made it to the ropes. Fighting back, Evie scored with her TTYL finisher (Go To Sleep) but was shocked when McKay managed to kick out at two for a heart-stopping near-fall. McKay dug deep, applied her octopus stretch to try and get the tap out, but Evie broke free, and nailed a second TTYL for the pinfall to claim the title. (more…)
It’s a jungle out there.
Take a look at the Upcoming section – most specifically the section for October and November. In the space of a month, you have three iPPV shows (SHINE will be one of them, most probably on October 19), as well as the SHIMMER weekend, nCw Femmes Fatales and Pro-Wrestling: EVE. In a four week gap, there are hugely advertised women’s cards taking place across the western hemisphere. If you expand the boundaries a bit to include the start of October, there is the new UKWW/WAWW venture in the UK, the debut of REINA x World in the US, PWWA in Australia and Joshi4Hope in Japan. No doubt, if you’re a fan of women’s wrestling, you certainly have a lot of stuff to choose from. Unfortunately, it may be too much for a minority in a minority like women’s wrestling certainly is.
On August 8, Pro-Wrestling: EVE promoter Dann Read tweeted his thoughts on the matter: “Its been obv for a while but I’m now feeling that the women’s scene in the US is becoming over saturated to a potentially harmful level.”
The first apparent victim of this rapidly expanding calendar was Ohio-based Independent Women’s Internet Wrestling, which shut up shop last week after one – albeit well received – show in July which crowned Cherry Bomb as its first champion. In a message posted on its Facebook page last week, it said; “As you know there is SHIMMER and WSU and Femmes Fatales which provide women’s wrestling action as well as Pro Wrestling Eve in England. And now there are two new promotions Shine and Blow which are going to be having regular and affordable iPPV’s featuring top talent.
“I see little reason in attempting to compete with a fraction of the resources. Even on a hobby promoting level it’s too expensive and too little return to pursue any further.” (more…)
When we spoke to Evie a week ago, she could barely contain her excitement at possibly becoming the first ever Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Champion, progressing to the final against Britenay and headlining the Destiny show last Saturday night. She was keen on winning the belt in her home promotion, and always having the moniker of being the first Women’s Champion in the promotion – an achievement that nobody can take away from her. However, the one on one contest between the two of them was turned upside down just moments before the bell would ring…
Destiny opened with Commissioner Dion McCracken addressing the crowd as well as the competitors. He told Evie and Britenay that this match would be determined under a one on one contest, and then proceeded to ban ‘Handsome’ Danny Jacobs from ringside for the match later on, much to the delight of the sold out crowd. Evie’s BFF Megan-Kate was also ruled out, so there would be no excuses, and a rightful winner would be decided. Someone else had alternative plans though, and it would result in the Commissioner’s credibility being undermined, the two competitors being thrown a curve-ball, and a strong friendship being put to the test in the quest for the gold. (more…)
New Zealand’s Evie has a busy couple of weeks ahead of her. After having never competed for a championship in her career, the Auckland native could become a double champion by the end of the month by winning two tournaments. First up is the final of the Impact Pro Wrestling Women’s Title tourney on Saturday, which will crown the first ever champion when she takes on Britenay. Following that a week later is her match against Jessie McKay to crown a PWWA Interim Champion.
As part of this edition of Fight Like A Girl, Evie discusses how nervous she gets before big matches, the women’s wrestling scene in New Zealand, the road to both finals, prospects for the future, and which title (if any) means more to her.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
I’ve been concerned about the future of Pro Wrestling: EVE, as each show seemed to be becoming a stand-alone production. EVE v Ice Ribbon was a great weekend of action, but didn’t really offer much indication on what would happen next, barring the win streaks of Alpha Female and Nikki Storm. At No Man’s Land in February, there was only one advertised match, which was the title match with Jenny Sjodin defending against Alpha, and that ended inconclusively. Meanwhile in the Queen of the Ring tournament which was set up after the plans to crown new Tag Team Champions fell though, Nikki won, which only reminded us that she was the next contender, and didn’t offer much to speculate about for the next show. Then Alpha won the belt on a non-EVE show, which – while it was the right move – would have been best on the No Man’s Land card. In addition, attendances were less than stellar, which was a shame – doubly so for the EVE v Ice Ribbon shows, which featured some spectacular matches.
However, last Saturday, things slotted into place very nicely. (more…)
Beyond Wrestling is the new owner of Women Superstars Uncensored. In truth, we heard about Beyond being interested in purchasing WSU about two weeks ago and thought it was a curious name to be in the running.
The model for Beyond is for having wrestling matches presented in front of an audience of fellow wrestlers, which creates a different sort of atmosphere. Only recently has Beyond started regularly running shows in front of regular fans – in fact, it was running a show in conjunction with St Louis Anarchy on Saturday when the announcement was made on WSU’s Uncensored Rumble V iPPV. Excerpts of the statement read out by commentator (as well as Beyond’s Director of Talent Relations and Director of Online Communications) Jon Harder include, “there will be a stronger online presence… all shows will be shot in high definition… future events will be available as video on demand streams and MP4 downloads in addition to the current DVD and iPPV releases.”
Three extra statements were released by Beyond yesterday on its website – most of which were buzz statements with no real substance to them (though in fairness, what more is there to say at the moment) – with the main points being a reassurance for WSU fans there will be no drastic changes to the product, though the logo has changed, as you can see, and the promotion’s website will be overhauled, which will be useful, as there is a lot going on when it comes to the front page at the moment. It also mentions the WSU will run shows in the Tri-State area, with the hope of expanding into new markets by the end of the year.
Let’s go through some of these points. (more…)